We all know that play wrestling with our kids when they are little can be one of the most fun and connecting things we can do as parents and as a family. Rolling around laughing together and sneakily finding ways to grab one another’s socks off or stuff a pillow under a shirt creates fun and hopefully hysterics for all. But did you also know that play wrestling can reduce symptoms of ADHD and is even a great tool to connect with your teen?
When children of all ages play wrestle, especially with an adult attuned to their feelings they experience these benefits:
Play wrestling is a fun and easy way to get more connection, less fighting, and even more compliance with homework in your household! All you need to do is keep a close eye on your child to make sure they aren’t feeling afraid or overpowered in the play (and if they do, then you mellow it out a bit) and be at the ready to protect yourself from a play-grab that could go awry. Be on your toes and snuggle your child with as much vigor as will get them laughing in hysterics (remember, no tickling! It can make kids feel powerless. Teasing towards tickling is just fine though).
Bonus points if you play wrestle before homework as your child will be more focused and able to complete the work from all that good contact with you.
Karen Wolfe, MFT is a psychotherapist in San Francisco and the East Bay. She is passionate about helping children and families thrive and has particular expertise with children with exceptional learning and sensory styles.